Broadway’s ‘Aladdin’ Resumes Performances Following Last Night’s Covid Cancellation – Update
UPDATE Disney’s Aladdin will resume performances on Broadway tonight following last night’s cancellation after members of the show’s company tested positive for Covid.
In a statement this afternoon, producer Disney Theatrical said the musical will return to The New Amsterdam Theatre for its 7 p.m. ET curtain tonight.
“Our extensive protocol system to test our employees and identify positive cases worked, and allowed us to act immediately to contain those cases,” the statement reads.”Given the thoroughness of our Covid protocols and a vaccinated workforce, we remain confident that the environment is safe for our guests, cast, crew and musicians.”
Last night’s performance was canceled shortly before curtain when Disney Theatrical announced that “breakthrough COVID-19 cases have been detected” within the company of Aladdin. The announcement marked the first confirmed cancellation of a show since Broadway reopened over the summer.
According to the producer, two additional rounds of subsequent testing – including one rapid PCR and one lab-based PCR – in the last 24 hours “have shown no new breakthrough cases in the Aladdin cast.”
Members of Disney Theatrical’s companies are required to be fully vaccinated, and all cast members in the company’s four North American companies (Aladdin on Broadway, the Frozen North American tour and The Lion King on Broadway and on tour) are PCR-tested six times a week, a procedure that exceeds the two antigen tests a week required by Actors Equity.
As with all Broadway productions, audience members at Aladdin over age 12 must be fully vaccinated and wear masks while in the theater.
PREVIOUS, Sept. 29 Disney’s Aladdin on Broadway canceled tonight’s performance – the show’s first since reopening last night – after breakthrough Covid cases were detected within the musical’s company.
In a tweet posted shortly before 7 p.m. ET, the production stated, “Through our rigorous testing protocols, breakthrough COVID-19 cases have been detected with the company of Aladdin at The New Amsterdam Theatre. Because the wellness and safety of our guests, casts, and crew are our top priority, tonight’s performance, Wednesday, September 29th, is canceled.”
Producer Disney Theatrical Productions will announce the status of future performances tomorrow.
“We will continue to provide support to the affected Aladdin company members as they recover,” the tweet concludes.
Aladdin returned to the stage last night after an 18-month absence due to the Covid pandemic shutdown. Earlier today, the production sent out photo of the reopening, calling the event a “joyous evening,” and noted a two-minute, mid-show standing ovation following the popular musical number “Friend Like Me.”
Earlier today, cast members from Disney’s Broadway productions of Aladdin, Frozen and The Lion King appeared on ABC’s The View in an in-studio performance.
Tonight’s action marks the first and only confirmed cancellation for a reopened Broadway production since Springsteen on Broadway kicked off the industry’s return in June. Off Broadway’s Merry Wives, a Free Shakespeare in the Park production, canceled several performances due to positive Covid tests over the summer. (Earlier this week, Broadway’s Lackawanna Blues postponed its opening date to Oct. 7 due to a back injury of star Ruben Santiago-Hudson.)
Broadway requires all company members and audiences to be vaccinated against Covid, and audiences and off-stage employees must wear masks throughout the performance.
The reopened Aladdin, based on the hit 1992 Disney animated film and featuring songs by Alan Menken, Howard Ashman, Tim Rice and Chad Beguelin, stars two new leads – Michael Maliakel, making his Broadway debut as the title character, and Shoba Narayan as Jasmine – as well as Michael James Scott as Genie and Jonathan Freeman as Jafar. The show also features principal cast members Milo Alosi, Zach Bencal and Brad Weinstock, JC Montgomery and Don Darryl Rivera as Iago, as well as numerous ensemble performers.
In addition to the cast, others present at last night’s reopening performance were Menken and Beguelin, director-choreographer Casey Nicholaw, and guest Kristin Chenoweth.
Important information regarding tonight's performance. pic.twitter.com/zVHzgHuuSi
— Aladdin the Musical (@aladdin) September 29, 2021